The Restorative Practices Playbook
Tools for Transforming Discipline in Schools
- Dominique Smith - Health Sciences High & Middle College (HSHMC)
- Douglas Fisher - San Diego State University, USA
- Nancy Frey - San Diego State University, USA
Foreword by Zachary Scott Robbins
Utilize restorative practices to create a safe, accepting, and equitable school climate where learning can flourish.
When students have unfinished learning, educators create opportunities for students to learn. Unfortunately, this role seems to end when it comes to behavior. How can we turn behavior into a teachable moment?
The Restorative Practices Playbook details a set of practices designed to teach prosocial behaviors based on strong relationships and a commitment to the well-being of others. Implementing restorative practices establishes a positive academic and social-emotional learning environment while building students’ capacity to self-regulate, make decisions, and self-govern—the very skills students need to achieve. In this eye-opening, essential playbook, renowned educators Dominique Smith, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey support educators with the reflection prompts, tools, examples, and strategies needed to create restorative practices around several key concepts:
- A restorative school culture, grounded in respect, that builds agency and identity, establishes teacher credibility, sets high expectations, and fosters positive relationships
- Restorative conversations that equip adults and students with the capacity to resolve problems, make decisions, and arrive at solutions in ways that are satisfactory and growth-producing
- Restorative circles that promote academic learning through dialogue, build consensus in decision making, and help participants reach resolution through healing
- Formal restorative conferences that foster guided dialogue between victim(s) and offender(s) and include plans for re-entry into the school community
By becoming adept in the skillful use of restorative practices, educators will foster equitable discipline that reduces exclusion and creates a school community driven by relationships and respect.
Schools are a community, and all communities experience challenges and success. One of the challenges we commonly face is supporting our educators in understanding how to meet our students’ social-emotional and behavioral needs in a way that provides proactive and sustainable solutions. The Restorative Practices Playbook is an outstanding resource any educator can use to start their journey toward positive change. This book is full of practical tools and examples that can support an individual teacher or create system-wide change. I highly recommend this book to all educators.
I haven’t been as excited about the implications of any book I have read as I have with The Restorative Practices Playbook. As we continue to evolve in our discipline methods as a district, this playbook offers a systematic guide that can help us to reflect and adjust our practices. We need to offer better solutions to support positive behavior in our schools and this book provides action steps to make those changes happen.